flag


flag
flag n Flag, ensign, standard, banner, color, streamer, pennant, pendant, pennon, jack are not always clearly distin-guished.
Flag, the comprehensive term, is applied to a piece of cloth that typically is rectangular, is attached to a staff, mast, halyard, or line, and carries an arrangement of colors, an emblematic figure, or a motto. The purpose of a flag is primarily to serve as a sign or symbol of a nation, a branch of the service, an organization, or an office, but it may also serve as a signal (as in military or naval operations) or in giving information (as of a weather change or the approach of a train)
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the flag of England

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the admiral's flag

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a flag of truce

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a trainman's flag

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Ensign is applied chiefly to a flag that indicates nationality and specifically to one flown by ships at sea
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the Stars and Stripes is the national ensign of the United States

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of the three ensigns of Great Britain, the white ensign is flown by ships of the Royal Navy and by naval barracks, the red ensign by British merchant vessels, and the blue ensign by some vessels commanded by officers of the Royal Naval Reserve and by some classes of government vessels not part of the navy

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Standard and banner are more or less literary terms for the flag (as of a country, a party, or a religious, civic, or patriotic organization) thought of as a rallying point or as something to be followed.
Standard especially suggests the former because the term originally designated and still often designates a flag or a sculptured figure raised on a pole so as to be a gathering point for all who belong under it
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as armies at the call of trumpet. . . troop to the standardMilton

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Banner basically applies to a flag (often hung downward from a crosspiece instead of flying from a staff) of an individual (as an emperor, king, lord, or military leader) which was formerly flown from windows or doors or carried aloft at the head of a procession (as of troops marching to war)
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hang out our banners on the outward walls; the cry is still "They come"— Shak.

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terrible as an army with bannersSong of Solomon 6:4

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Color (most frequently found in the plural colors) may apply to a national flag, to a flag emblematic of affiliation or partisanship, or to a flag of most military units; the term is particularly likely to suggest military activity or display
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call to the colors

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hoist the colors

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troop the colors

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the British colors were planted on the summit of the breach— Wellington

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The remaining terms are highly specific and definite in implications.
Streamer applies to a long narrow flag (as on the masthead of a government ship) that floats in the wind; pennant and pendant, the latter more English than American, apply to a streamer that is long, narrow, and tapering. Pennant even more often applies to a narrow flag, typically triangular, which is flown by ships, which is used in signaling and in decorating, or which is exhibited (as by a baseball club) as a sign of championship.
Pennon may apply to a narrower flag or a small streamer suitable for attaching to a lance.
Jack denotes a small oblong flag indicating nationality which is hoisted on a staff at the bow or bowsprit cap of a ship or one used in signaling.
flag vb *droop, wilt, sag
Analogous words: *fall, subside, slump, sink, drop: ebb, wane, *abate

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • flag — flag …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Flag — Flag, n. [Cf. LG. & G. flagge, Sw. flagg, Dan. flag, D. vlag. See {Flag} to hang loose.] 1. That which flags or hangs down loosely. [1913 Webster] 2. A cloth usually bearing a device or devices and used to indicate nationality, party, etc., or to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flag — Ⅰ. flag [1] ► NOUN 1) an oblong piece of cloth that is raised on or attached to a pole and used as an emblem or marker. 2) a device or symbol resembling a flag, used as a marker. 3) a small paper badge given to people who donate to a charity… …   English terms dictionary

  • Flag — Flag, v. t. [From {Flag} an ensign.] 1. To signal to with a flag or by waving the hand; as, to flag a train; also used with down; as, to flag down a cab. [1913 Webster] 2. To convey, as a message, by means of flag signals; as, to flag an order to …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flag — flag1 [flag] n. [LME flagge < FLAG4, in obs. sense “to flutter”] 1. a piece of cloth or bunting, often attached to a staff, with distinctive colors, patterns, or symbolic devices, used as a national or state symbol, as a signal, etc.; banner;… …   English World dictionary

  • Flag — Flag, n. [From {Flag} to hang loose, to bend down.] (Bot.) An aquatic plant, with long, ensiform leaves, belonging to either of the genera {Iris} and {Acorus}. [1913 Webster] {Cooper s flag}, the cat tail ({Typha latifolia}), the long leaves of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flag — steht für: Flag (Informatik), ein Variablentyp mit eng begrenztem Wertesatz, oft nur 0/1 das Spielgerät beim Flag Football das englische Wort für Flagge oder auch Fahne Flag (Lichttechnik), eine Vorrichtung in der Fotografie und Filmproduktion,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • flag — [ flag ] n. m. • 1935; abrév. de flagrant délit ♦ Arg. Flagrant délit. « Le proxénétisme, c est un délit, merde ! Il est perpétuellement en flag, ce mec là » (M. Rolland). Des flags. flag ou flague [flag] n. m. ÉTYM. 1935; abrév. de flagrant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • flag|gy — flag|gy1 «FLAG ee», adjective, gi|er, gi|est. 1. hanging down limply; drooping. 2. soft and flabby; having no firmness; flaccid. ╂[< flag …   Useful english dictionary

  • Flag — (fl[a^]g), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Flagged} (fl[a^]gd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Flagging} (fl[a^]g g[i^]ng).] [Cf. Icel. flaka to droop, hang loosely. Cf. {Flacker}, {Flag} an ensign.] 1. To hang loose without stiffness; to bend down, as flexible bodies;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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